Thursday, September 22, 2011

Feeling lost in the library?

Dewey Decimal Classification will help you on your way...........!
The Dewey Decimal Classification System is named after its creator, Melvil Dewey. The system uses numbers and letters to organise materials on the same subject and on related subjects to make items easier to find on the shelves. Each item on the shelf has a Class Number on its spine which is assigned to it according to its subject matter within the Dewey system.

In the Dewey system, knowledge is divided into ten main classes:
·       000  - 099  Computer science
·       100  - 199  Philosophy and Psychology
·       200  - 299  Religion
·       300  - 399  Social Science
·       400  - 499  Languages
·       500  - 599  Natural Science and Mathematics
·       600  - 699  Technology (Applied Sciences)
·       700  - 799  Arts
·       800  - 899  Literature
·       900  - 999  Geography and History

Each class has ten sub-divisions. These divisions are further divided--and then further divided. Each division becomes more specific. For example the 400’s (Languages) are divided in to sub groups of specific subject matter:

The more numbers, the more specific the subject. In this way, the Dewey classification system progresses from the general to the specific. For example a book with a class number 410.285 would bring you to books about Computational Linguistics. For a more detailed explanation on sub division of subjects, go here.

Some call numbers will have letters after the numbers. This is called a ‘cutter number’. If there are many books on the same subject, they will have the same number. Therefore, they need to be sub-divided further using the authors surname as a reference.

If you require any help understanding Dewey, or you need assistance finding material in the library, please follow the Class Number Guides on the side of each book shelf or ask one of our library staff to help you.

Here are some videos that may help explain things further:

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